It is the perfect time locally for picking elderberries - not too many green ones and not too many shrivelled ones. They won't be around for much longer though, so now is the moment...
Elderberries have amazing immune boosting power and this syrup is a wonderful way to nourish the family throughout the winter, 1 tbsp/day each.
The berries have very high levels of certain flavonoids called anthocyanins which are the principle that makes the berry’s dark purple colour. There is significantly more of this in Elderberries than in say, Blueberries or Cranberries. These compounds are powerful antioxidants that work to enhance the body’s immune response and support immune function. They are also delicious and if you don’t like the idea of syrup, then add to jam, fruit pies or use as cordial.
If you have missed the harvest of berries, we sell elderberry syrup in the shop:
Bucket of ripe Elderberries
(you can add star anise, cinnamon, or ginger if you like)
Cut the Elderberry 'umbel' just above so that you can take the whole thing into your foraging basket. Wash the berries gently. Then use a fork to remove them from the stalks into a bowl.
Place the Elderberries in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Then strain the Elderberry mixture through a muslin or straining bag, squeezing to make sure you get all the juice out.
Now for the maths .....for each pint of juice you have, add 1lb of granulated sugar and 12 cloves. Put it all in a pan and boil the mixture for 10 minutes.
Allow the Elderberry mixture to cool a little, then bottle in sterilised glass bottles, making sure that the caps have a plastic seal. Try to add an equal amount of the cloves to each bottle you make up.
The Elderberry syrup will last up to two years, if kept in a cool place.